News and History from the Road Runners Club of America
RRCA: Pro Runners Discuss the Benefits of RRCA Programs
Professional runners, Aliphine Tuliamuk, Katy Jermann, and Frank Lara outline how RRCA programs, including RunPro Camp and the Roads Scholar/Elite Support Grant Funds, have supported them during their careers. Learn about the upcoming Virtual Cascade Run Off and how proceeds will go to support RRCA programs that support emerging professional distance runners.
Women's Running History Series - Sara Mae Berman
Sara Mae Berman, born May 14, 1936 in the Bronx, New York, is a distinguished American distance runner. Berman came from a generation in which women were not encouraged to be athletic, especially after having children. Berman, along with a group of female runners, actively campaigned for equal rights for women in the sport of distance running. Berman competed in her first road race in June 1964 as an unofficial entrant in the 5-Mile Handicap Race in Marlborough, Massachusetts. She would go on to win the Boston Marathon three times, before women were recognized as official participants (1969 in 3:22:46; 1970 in 3:05:07; and 1971 in 3:08:30). In 1970, she won the first RRCA Women’s MarathonChampionship held in Atlantic City, New Jersey, besting a field of six female starters with a time of 3:07:10. That same year, she also finished third in the inaugural New York City Marathon women’s division. Her accomplishments in the sport extend well beyond the race course. Berman was the first female RRCA officer, serving as Vice President from 1966-67. She was one of the original road race course certifiers in New England in the 1960s. She, along with her husband, certified the Boston Marathon course in 1967, enabling runners to qualify on the course for the United States Olympic Trials Marathon held in 1968 in Alamosa, Colorado.
Women's Running History - Arlene Pieper Stine
Arlene Pieper Stine got into the Pikes Peak Marathon in 1959 as a stunt to market her Colorado Springs health club. When she finished, the 29-year-old mother of three was in the record books as the first woman to finish a sanctioned marathon. Unlike the Boston Marathon, the Pikes Peak race never had a prohibition on women participating.
Women's Running History Series - Patti Catalano Dillon
Patti grew up in Quincy, MA, the eldest of nine children. Her father was second-generation Irish from Dorchester and an all-Navy boxer. Her mother, a Micmac Indian. As a young adult, she worked as a nurse's aid at Quincy City Hospital, filling her non-working hours with beer and kitty whist. Unhappy, overweight, and smoking two packs of Lucky Strikes a day, Patti was stuck. It didn't take her long to realize that at twenty three years old, she was stuck in a pit. She found a book by Dr. Ken Cooper called Aerobics. In this book, Cooper said that there were 3500 calories in a pound, and jogging burned 700 calories an hour. Doing some fast math in her kitchen, Patti deduced that by the end of the week, she would lose twenty pounds. This, she decided, would be the fastest way to be happy. She ran seven laps around the Quincy Cemetery, which was nearly a seven mile run. And she didn't lose twenty pounds by the end of the week—in fact, she could barely walk for two weeks afterwards. But as soon as she could run, she went out and did it again. This led to an astonishing career in athletics that helped pioneer women's marathoning. With no background in highschool track or college running, she went on to set a world record in the 5 mile (25:48). She set the American record for the 10k four times, ending with a 32:08. Patti was the first American woman to go under 33 minutes in the 10k, and the first American woman to break 50 minutes in the 15k (49:42). She set a world record in the 20k, 30k, and half marathon, and won the Newport marathon 5 times, setting a course record each time. She also won the Honolulu marathon 4 times, also setting a course record each time. Patti placed 2nd in the Boston marathon three times, and also placed 2nd in the NYC marathon. She was one of the first American women to sign a pro-contract with Nike. In 52 weeks, she ran 48 races, winning 44 of them.
Women's Running History Series - Lorraine Moller
Moller's first international competition was the 1974 British Commonwealth Games at Christchurch, where she finished fifth in the 800 m. Her time of 2:03.63 was her lifetime best and is still the fastest ever by a New Zealand junior (under 20) woman.Although Moller ran her first marathon in 1979, there were no sanctioned marathons for females at an international athletics competition until 1984. She ran her first marathon on 23 June 1979, winning Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota in 2:37:37. She then won her next 7 marathons. She was a triple winner of the Osaka Ladies Marathon, and in 1984 won the Boston Marathon.All of Moller's four appearances at the Olympic Games were in the marathon. She won the Bronze medal in 1992 running 2:33:59In the 1993 New Year Honours, Moller was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire, for services to athletics.In 2012 she was inducted into the Boulder (Colorado) Sports Hall of Fame. She has worked with the Lydiard Foundation and the Master Plan training system to share the lessons of running coach Arthur Lydiard.
Women's Running History Series - Julia Chase-Brand
Julia Chase-Brand's first race was the New England championship in the 880-yard run, held in July 1960, which she won. However, she had to list her hometown as being in Rhode Island because women from Connecticut were not allowed to compete.When she tried to run in the Manchester Road Race in Connecticut in 1960, which women were not allowed to run at that time, race officials told her that if she ran she would be banned from racing for life. She lobbied to be allowed to race for a year, but without success. In 1961 she did run the race, without permission, but then racing's governing body vowed to ban her from all competition unless she agreed to stay out of "men's" road races. She agreed to stay out. In 2011, at age 69, Julia returned to run the Manchester Road Race again, on the 50th anniversary of her historic run. She was named a Hero of Running by Runner's World in 2012She studied zoology at Smith College. She also helped produce a study about how orangutans and gorillas unconsciously stick out their tongues in matters of social aversion, just as people do. At the age of 53 in 1996, she became the oldest person to obtain a degree in medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University. She practiced child psychiatry and contributed the section Effects of Maternal Postpartum Depression on the Infant and Older Siblings to the book Perinatal and postpartum mood disorders: perspectives and treatment guide .
Yes, the sound quality is not great, but the fantastic stories more than make up for that small fault. Any woman who enjoys being an athlete today needs to listen to these strong, witty, generous women’s stories—we stand on their shoulders!
Amy Yoder Begley’s interviews are such a gift! No, they weren’t recorded to be podcast episodes and you have to give up any expectations you might have about sound quality and editing, but there’s some great information in there, if you make the investment in listening.